Posted tagged ‘Leaving’

Going Home

June 7, 2009

The wind blew against me today on my way home.  I had a deadline.  The wind always blows against me when I have a deadline!  Going home always seems more difficult than it should be.  Marg Archibald, in her book Cycling Into Your Soul, speaks of the struggle of going home after her international cycling journey. 

 

“What can I hold on to from this trip? How can I stay changed?” she asks.  Ironic for me to read and reflect on these questions since I have not yet gone, however, appropriate I think.  A reminder of how I want to be thinking from here on out.  

 

What does this sabbatical have to offer me?  Not just freedom of time, I think, but freedom of mind and spirit.  I want to remember that this is the time to wonder – What is God doing in my life?  What direction is my ministry moving?  What do I want to hold on to from this trip?  How can I stay changed, when I come back?

 

Honestly, Archibald never articulates her answers in this book.  I hope, when my sabbatical adventure is over, I can!

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Cycling Into My Soul

May 28, 2009

Well, my first book is not quite the spiritual experience that a title like “Cycling Into Your Soul” might suggest!  Never the less, there have been a couple of key issues that I see true for myself as well.  

 

Marg Archibold writes about riding all over Russia, Turkey and other several other countries along the way.  She is essentially traveling alone, and that proves to be an important piece of the journey for her.

 

I think that’s one of the key pieces for my sabbatical journey as well!  Most of the time, in ministry I find myself around and about other people– helping people understand who they are, or interpreting what it means to be in community, or facilitating communication between those working on ministry together.  Rarely does church life offer the minister an opportunity to be alone, focused on themselves.  Even some of our time in the office are spent together, working on people or ministry issues.

 

I look forward to my time away from church, so that I can really spend time tending to myself.  I look forward to the times I will have to ride alone, working on my goals, my plans, and my questions!  Cycling has always been a place of quiet comfort and contemplation and I have no doubt that will double in my sabbatical time.


Following Moses

May 23, 2009

Saturday.  The day after one of those big Friday May rainstorms we breezed out over the hills of Mann Rd.  I say breezed because I never had to ride lead.  There were 5 of us.  We got to the bottom of the valley, where the road literally crosses to the other side, and we remembered….it had rained hard the night before!  Water covered the road, 8-10 inches deep, and about 30 feet long.  Tim, with the look of a wise and contemplative leader, said “Hmmm….let’s think about this,” as we all dismounted and walked patiently up behind him.  I don’t really know him all that well, but he looked like he knew what he’s doing!

 

In the distance we saw a car approach.  “Ah, a good test” we all sighed.  But as it came through, all I saw were waves, not pavement!  Not good!  But, with hills behind us, that we really didn’t want to power up and over again, Tim began to mount his grey Lemond, and slowly forge through.  He slowed….and the water rose.  It turned out that all of our shoes got a little wet, but, we made it through, just fine.

 

It was no Red Sea mind you, but, we couldn’t tell how deep it was, or if there was sand lurking underneath!  I know the Israelites considered turning back.  Standing there on the shores of the sea, the worries of the unknown that was to come, probably FAR outweighed the troubles they knew before.  But there is something about having a Moses among them. 

 

Today, I am wondering just what my sabbatical time will be like.  Leaving the life I know, as a pastor in the church, and riding away for 3 months, into the murky waters of the great unknown…